The text used for the Passover Seder is the Haggadah (plural Haggadot) or compilation of biblical passages, prayers, and hymns. The book tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt and explains the symbols and practices of the holiday. The Passover Haggadah was first compiled over two thousand years ago; and while the story has remained stable, narrative and illustrative styles have changed over time, and commentaries and songs have been added. Since traditionally each Jewish household held a Seder and owned a Haggadah, it became one of the most familiar books in the Jewish home.
The Haggadot in this section suggest the wide variation and distribution of the book. There are two Dutch editions and three German editions. The oldest is the Haggadah from Amsterdam, which dates from 1724; others include a facsimile of the 1846 Haggadah of the Bene Israel congregation in Bombay, India, and a Sefardi Haggadah from Livorno, Italy. Although these books are all illustrated and highly decorative, they were clearly intended to be used and read. The stains on the pages of some - a typical fate of books used during meals -are evidence that they carried out those intentions.
To further demonstrate the importance of the Haggadah within the Jewish household, this section includes the Haggadah that belonged to the collector's father, Karl Sondheim. The book, published in 1913, came to America with Sondheim when he emigrated. The repairs to the book's cover bear witness to the extensive use and personal value of this volume.
|3. Haggadah shel Pesach = Lamms Pracht Hagadah. Berlin : Verlag von Louis Lamm, 1922.|